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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 23, 2011 1:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: David Murray/GD members

I find the music David Murray created with the Gd and it's members subsequent to their demise to be some of the most interesting music created post hiatus,maybe not so much in substance,but in the feeling he brought to the mix and sound of his horn interacting with Jerry,Phil and Bob was just thrilling to my ears,it literally sent chills through me.Here is a show that features the David Murray Octet with Bob and Phil sitting in,it's from the Fillmore Auditorium on 3-6-97.It opens with Dark Star with Phil and Bob,it takes about 4 or 5 minutes to gel but gets going from there.Next is the highlight,a beautiful China Doll in which both David and Bob shine,they close it out with a very funky Shakedown.

http://www.dead.net/features/gd-radio-hour/grateful-dead-hour-no-445

Next I will throw in his 2 appearances with the GD for the uninitiated or folks who might have an interest in revisiting the shows.The first show was at MSG on 9-22-93 and Bird Song,Estimated,Dark Star and space all contained some compelling passages,don't expect a polished performance in the ilk of Branford because David knew very little about their music(the only time he saw them was the previous night),and he approached the music in a completely different manner than Branford,where Branford chose to support the players or do a solo,Dave chose to play with them and create on the spot,which is much more difficult,especially being unfamiliar with the music for the most part.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd93-09-22.sbd.yubah.565.sbeok.shnf

His last appearance with the GD on 2-26-95 in Oakland,I really enjoyed his bass clarinet work during the space.I feel compelled to say that it must be a difficult task to jam with the GD,for from the outside looking in they seem to do very little in the way of being inviting to their guests,or making it any easier to interact,it seems to be a good luck,sink or swim kind of scenario,and in an arena of complex and divergent music it doesn't seem conducive to pulling that of in a successful manner,and I think it reflects badly on David in both appearances as he seems to be overplaying and lost on occasion,when it really is his unfamiliarity with music with vocals and a misunderstanding of how "free" jamming the GD actually are.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1995-02-26.sbd.monitor.mix.miller.109244.flac16

Lastly,here is a Ratdog show from 2-20-96 with David and Taj Mahal,to be honest I forget if it is good or not and did not feel like listening,but it's Taj and David so you might want to give it a shot.

http://www.archive.org/details/rd1996-02-20.shnf



This post was modified by jerlouvis on 2011-07-23 20:25:21

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 23, 2011 2:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: David Murray/GD members

Great post. I've been getting more and more interested in the history of jazz wind players with the band since someone clued me in to the amazing 8/3/69 show. I think doing a detailed comparative study of the David Murray 93 Dark Star, one of the Branford Dark Stars, and the 8/3/69 Dark Star would make for a great essay topic.

I've never heard the 97 performance that you linked first, so I'm excited to check this out!

[EDIT]: Wow, that was indeed a very enjoyable Dark Star, lots of interesting stuff and variety. I wish Phil was a little louder maybe, but I always wish that. It sounds like Murray's group has a cool arrangement for the song, where they have the full band play some melodies taken from Garcia's licks.

I haven't heard Murray's GD tribute album, all this makes me want to pick it up. The China Doll is really nice, too. China Doll is one of the more classical and less rock GD tunes, in particular the way the minor-key main song contrasts with the major key na-na section, lots of pathos.

Murray's ensemble has a certain orchestral/big-band quality to it in the way the melodies are played by the ensemble. It creates a lot of good textural contrast to set off the different sections.

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-07-23 21:05:09

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Poster: turnphilup Date: Jul 23, 2011 2:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: David Murray/GD members

"I wish Phil was a little louder maybe, but I always wish that." Preaching to the choir with that statement brother. I saw Murray perform at the Jazz Tent on a rainy afternoon in '94 during Jazzfest and still remember a particular quote that my wife and I, jokingly still use time to time. On the bus ride back to the hotel, I started chatting with another guy about the performance and how it just blew me away and had me staring in awe. But his reaction to the Murray performance was a little different from mine and drew a baffling look from me. He stated, "it was just a little to cerebral for me." We rode on in silence for the remainder of the ride, for I did not know how to respond to what he had just said. Different notes for different folks I suppose.
"When Phil's on, the bands on" -Peace

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 23, 2011 1:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: David Murray/GD members

Glad you found the subject to be of some interest.It is a shame that there is so little music with wind players existing in the GD catalog. It would be an interesting way to spend a few hours,doing some comparative listening to the various Dark Stars with horn accompaniment.Off the top of my head I know my favorite is the 69' version with Charles Lloyd,that and 6-7-69 being my 2 favorite pre-72' versions.I lean towards the 69' version because even though it was early in their development I find the 69' era band to be far superior to anything after 78' and that is being kind,thus it puts Murray and Marsalis at a disadvantage for they are playing with a lesser entity making it harder to create special music.Branford while being a really nice person and a quality musician has no business being mentioned in the same breath as David Murray when it comes to ability on the saxophone,Murray is unequivocally one of the finest players ever,amongst the greats such as Ben Webster,Paul Gonsalves,Lester Young,Coltrane,Rashaan Roland Kirk,Roscoe Mitchell,Evan Parker and Anthony Braxton to name a few of the upper echelon cats.I have a love a deep respect for all the players I mentioned,but for my money based simply on his ability to consistently move me and blow my mind Mr. Murray gets my vote as best ever,his tone,timbre and feel are as powerful a musical force as I have ever witnessed,having see him perform about 500 times since the early 80's I have ample experiences to draw on.
What I am getting at is that you really to evaluate each performance on their own merits,as there is no fair way to make a comparison.

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Poster: roughyed Date: Jul 25, 2011 3:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: David Murray/GD members

Great posts and links. I know I've mentioned this before but have you heard David Murray Quartet + 1 - "Fast Life"? The + 1 is Branford on a couple of tracks.
We seem to have a jazz following on the forum, sort of avant-garde/knitting factory. So I'll throw in a name which hasn't been mentioned who I think is up there with Murray - James Carter.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 25, 2011 8:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: David Murray/GD members

It's been a long while since I've heard that record,I believe it is one of his more straight ahead quartet efforts,I enjoy his more out style projects,I remember being unimpressed with Branford's tracks,not that they were bad just sort of dull.
Concerning James Carter,he is the best young player to come along since David Murray.I have been lucky enough to see him on a few occasions just blow the roof off a few places.He is now a full time member of the prestigious World Saxophone Quartet with David,Oliver Lake and Hamiet Bluiett.He has also carved out a fine career for himself ,having released numerous and varied recordings with a who's who of jazz musicians.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Jul 23, 2011 2:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: David Murray/GD members

In response to your comments on Murray's take on the GD catalog I have to say I thought he could have done a better job in execution and song selection.The record itself is nice,but knowing his capabilities in my mind it falls short of his best effort.I saw 10-15 performances of the material after the record release and found the live performances to have more body and a seemingly better understanding of the music by the band and David himself.If memory serves me Butch Morris had a hand in the making of the record. You picked up on the melodic aspect of his ensemble,I think with his big band he hits on some of the qualities you mentioned in what you were looking for in a free improvising jazz unit,it is a very dynamic unit with strong solo and group interplay,changing tempos and moods.

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